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On December 23, 2013, an important announcement was made by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons: an open consultation on out-of-hours (OOH) services!

The college is calling for evidence on provision of 24-hour emergency veterinary cover, in order to understand “how best to meet the expectations of all those involved”. Further details are available from the RCVS website.

Of the initiative, Clare Tapsfield-Wright (chairman of the RCVS standards committee) explained: “Over the past two years, lay people working with the RCVS have raised questions about the veterinary profession’s ability to provide 24/7 to the extent required by the RCVS Code of Professional Conduct, and said there is a disconnect between the public’s expectations and the profession’s capacity to meet those expectations.”

Vet nurses are invited to put forward their views on the matter – but the closing date is February 17, so you don’t have long to respond!

Recent issues brought up in disciplinary committee proceedings have included:

  • speed of response
  • travelling time and distance
  • daytime versus out-of-hours obligations
  • individual versus corporate responsibility
  • staffing levels and contingency plans

Responses are being sought, preferably via email to 24-7@rcvs.org.uk, but can also be sent via mail to the address below, by 5pm on February 17, 2014.

Professional Conduct Department
Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
Belgravia House
62-64 Horseferry Road

We’re so important to OOH care for owners and animals – please let your voice be heard. I will be!

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